Friday, June 5, 2009

CIA stands for cockiness in abundance...

Happy friday!

What a week. I learned a ton this week, and got many burns and cuts (which I treasure,) most recently stabbing myself deeply on the pinky finger with my pairing knife as I was cleaning it (not even while cutting!)

It is absolutely crazy how much I love it here. I guess this is how every other college student feels when they find the right school, I loved JMU, but here is where I feel I have always belonged, the people, the atmosphere, the classes, its all perfect. Of course I am so glad to have gone to college beforehand, but I feel blessed that I get to do soemthing that makes me so incredibly excited to wake up at 5am everyday.

Today we made one of the five mother (or grand) sauces of classical cuisine. The sauces are: veloute, espagnole, bechamel, hollandaise, and tomato. We made veloute, which is a chicken stock that is thickened with blonde roux, and proceeded to use it to make our cream of broccoli soup. It was pretty light in production, and our class did a lot better today. We made knife skills trays as usual, and my scale rescued the day again when the kitchens scales were off. 

Here was most of our mise en place tray in the morning:

And my knife skills tray:

Here is the chicken stock heating up with white mirepoix (leeks, onions, celery) for the veloute (one of the five mother sauces):

And the blonde roux for the veloute:

Whisking the roux into the stock and bringing it up to a boil until it forms a nappe consistency (when it coats the back of the spoon):

Here is the veloute simmering away with the sachet:

Here is some of the mise en place for the broccoli soup:

The white mirepoix being sweated for the soup (that means its cooked on a lower flame until it softens, but no color on the vegetables)

Then sweating the broccoli out a bit:

Then you add the veloute to the broccoli and mirepoix and let it simmer:

After which you blend, add cream, and strain through a chinois, which Chef demonstrates here:

Here is my presentation plate of cream of broccoli soup (with some steamed florets), which Chef said tasted great, was well cooked and flavored:

During clean up today, one of my classmates accidentally tipped over the food waste trash can with 240 pounds of steaming hot chicken bones in it. You could tell it was friday...

At lunch, I opted for the Asian kitchen again, since the cream soups are so heavy in class. I got a spicy beef pho:

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